A key witness in the trial against former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was gunned down Friday, just ten days after he testified and three days after a jury convicted the cop for the murder of Botham Jean.
No suspect or motive has been mentioned since the shooting of Joshua Brown, 28, who was shot to death several times by an unknown assailant but his attorney, Lee Merritt, said the shooting “seems very personal.”
According to his testimony last week, Brown had lived across the hallway from Jean at the time the 26-year-old accountant was shot to death by the cop who claimed she had walked into his apartment believing it was her apartment and believing that Jean was a burglar.
Brown was returning home from a sports bar where he had been watching an NFL game on television when he heard two startled voices followed by gunshots. He described the voices as “two people meeting by surprise” but could not make out what they were saying because they were both speaking at the same time.
He said he entered his apartment and continued looking out his peephole, watching Guyger walk out of the apartment who was on the phone crying, saying she had walked into the wrong apartment.
Brown, who said he had only met Jean earlier that day after the leasing office knocked on both their doors to talk to them about a noise complaint, said he frequently heard Jean singing gospel music in the morning as he would walk out of the his apartment. He then began tearing up on the witness stand and the judge had to call for a break.
On Friday, he was killed at another apartment complex, according to the Washington Post.
The Dallas Police Department has not confirmed Brown was the man killed, noting that the victim wasn’t carrying identification. But in an emailed statement, the department said officers had responded to reports of a shooting at the Atera apartment complex just after 10:30 p.m. on Friday. They arrived to find the victim lying on the ground in the parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds. Paramedics took him to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he died of his injuries.
“Several witnesses heard several gunshots and observed a silver four-door sedan leaving the parking lot at a high rate of speed,” police said, adding that there are no suspects at the moment.
Brown’s death came three days after jurors convicted Guyger of murder and two days after they handed down a 10-year sentence. The punishment — on the low end of the 99 years the former office could have faced — drew both protests from observers and a stunning act of forgiveness from Jean’s younger brother.
“His murder underscores the reality of the black experience in America,” Merritt said on Twitter. “A former athlete turned entrepreneur – Brown lived in constant fear that he could be the next victim of gun violence, either state sanctioned or otherwise.”
Watch Brown’s testimony in the video above.